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What do you DNF most?

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Reviewing my logs, it is much to my chagrin that I'm only finding 4 out of every 5 caches I attempt. So I looked for a pattern. Seems most of mine are when I search in the winter, especially for micros. Some of my DNFs are self inflicted, like when I went caching in Finland, during the winter, up in the Arctic Circle. Others, I can't explain. Today I DNF'd a cache that all previous cachers found, described as 'you don't need to even get out of the car!', but the coords led me to the middle of a desolate field.

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Ten percent of the caches I have looked for have been DNFs . . . :anitongue:


Today, that number was 50%. I looked for two caches, in hopes of getting two FTFs, while on a four-mile hike and only found one. :laughing:


It was a micro in a rock pile . . . :lol:


The most recent previous DNF was in an urban setting . . . :lol:

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Most of my DNFs are urban micros. If an area is over run with people I just won't search long. Had some today.. often don't even log it as a DNF as it is really more of a DNC as in "Do Not Care".

Did one of those a few days ago. Small urban micro in an ugly part of town, stuck in a hedge next to a drive-through window, and the cashier was watching me. Um...yeah, no I don't think so. Not exactly a DNF.

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micros aren't bad if the coordinates are good, or a good hint if warranted. But people that hide a 'blinkie' somewhere in a 15 ft pine tree, or similar. Those are really just a waste of time. I'll give them about 4 minutes then move on. Came across one of those today - nothing original or exciting about the spot. Just a big ol' pine tree on the corner of a busy intersection.


Another 'fun' one I have given up on is a 'blinkie' hidden somewhere on an old railroad car in a city park. only about 100,000 places to hide something that small on a caboose.


But most of my DNF's are micros

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Urban Micros The bane of our geocaching existence. Ok, maybe not that bad, but we do seem to have trouble with them. Maybe it's because our first caches were in rural settings and that's what we're used to, but our ability to find micros is somewhere around the 50% mark. So we try to limit the number of micros we search for and go after "regular" size containers. Besides, our little cachers don't like micros because there's nothing to trade. :anitongue:

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Just did some quick checking of my caches. For my DNF's - some now archived, some subsequently found, some still to be found (those DNF's on trips where I won't be back aren't included) - 40.6% are micro, 18.8% small, 31.2% regular, 9.4% not chosen/other. A fairly even distribution across the difficulty levels up to about 3.5.

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I think my DNF rate is 1 for every 3 caches hunted, and it's normally a micro. I almost never DNF a regular cache. I occasionally DNF small caches, particularly when I don't know what I am looking for. That being said, on my recent spring break geocaching run, out of 15 caches hunted, I DNF'ed exactly one cache. That particular cache was supposed to be somewhat devious, so I was prepared for the possibilty.

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I've got 30 DNFs of caches that were missing, and since archived. 2 on caches that hadn't been hidden yet. 6 or 8 on caches beyond my physical or mental abilities (which includes a fear of heights.) The other hundred are a combo of very well hidden caches, a few urban micros, and just plain mean micros in the woods. Oh, and four or five where the coordinates were terribly far off.

My worst DNF/found ratio is for benchmarks. I'm probably about 50% on them. But, in some ways,. they're more fun to search for. I've found a few of those that hadn't been reported in 75 yers.

Edited by Harry Dolphin
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Most of my DNFs are urban micros. If an area is over run with people I just won't search long. Had some today.. often don't even log it as a DNF as it is really more of a DNC as in "Do Not Care".


I am still very new to the sport but i have 2 dnf. One is just negligence, I walked right by it (it was a medium size) and the other was, surprise!-a micro. I am going back to try again b/c it is part of a series I would like to complete. I like micros but I do agree with you that if it takes more than 10 minutes on an urban it will quickly turn into a DNC. :anitongue:

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Personally, I usually simply refuse to walk away from a hide - if someone cared enough to place it, I believe it deserves a good effort . . . but rock pile micro hunts, bush micro hunts and micros without hints in the dense woods (poorer signal) are becoming rather, well, a really tedious bore.


It seems that the 'mindless' non-creative hides are no longer worth a great deal of time/effort, anymore. I love micros, in fact, I prefer them . . . but some are just a waste of the little time I have to spend playing the game.

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I tend to DNF caches on small pedestrian bridges. The GPS error alone is large enough that the cache could be on any side, corner, or end of the bridge. Then there is the multitude of places to place or attach the cache. I have DNFd a couple of bridge caches 3 times (spending a total of an hour on each) and have yet to find them.

Edited by geognerd
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Most of mine are on evil micros. Not needle in a haystack ones, though I have a couple of those, but well-done, cleverly evil ones.


Some other reasons:


Tried without a GPS


Ran out of time between stages


Bad weather


Deep snow


Forgot to bring a light while night caching


Couldn't solve letterbox clues without leaves on the trees


Didn't look at a park map to see that the trail went under some roads and I didn't have to bushwhack through a swamp


Old query -- already archived

Edited by Dinoprophet
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I am rather famous for my ability to almost always score DNFs on any caches with a D/T rating of 2/2 or below, and many of those hides were, it turned out when I arrived on the scene, somewhat lame urban micros. Strangely, particularly when I am traveling in distant realms and doing a bit of caching during my visit, those caches for which I log a DNF almost always turn out later, in hindsight, to have been MIA; often my DNF was the last in a long string of DNFs which the owner of the urban micro had been ignoring. I almost never log DNFs for caches with Terrain ratings of 3.5 or above.

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definitely dnf the micros most. specifically, micros downtown, or near busy streets, etc. i dunno how some people do it. call it inexperience, but i get real nervous when i'm out caching in town. thus, i give up pretty easily on things that are gonna take a lot more effort. i couldn't give a specific percentage of found / dnf, but i'd say its 1 out of 3 or so. yep....micros

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Doesn't it stand to reason that the most dnf's would be micros since most of the larger ones (Ammo boxes, tupperware, etc) are "gimme" finds anyway?


I dont know if i would necessarily call them "gimme" finds. Some are fairly obvious but if it is a really good hide, it may take a bit of circling to find it.

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I did that yesterday . . . circled a big downed tree 1 1/2 times before I found the hiding place for the large ammo can . . . :laughing:


I returned to that micro in a rockpile I DNF'd and found it right away on the second trip, at a different time of day, when the light was better. :lol:

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If I have any sort of trend, I would say that it comes from DNFs on quite a few micros. Generally those fall into two categories for me. (1) Either they are hidden really well and I tend to lack patience for that, so I give up after just a few minutes and log a DNF, or (2) they are in high traffic urban areas and I don't want to deal with being stealthy, so I just leave without really looking when there are any people around.


Then there are those that I just plain can't find of all types. DNFs happen.

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There is no real difference between the percentage of micros vs small vs large etc that I DNF, but I do tend to DNF more often when I am traveling to another state than when I am in my local area. It may just be a question of local hiding methods, but I'm really betting it's just that I know the area better around home (so I am more relaxed and less rushed), and I "get" more of the subtle clues cache owners add to their cache page.

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Oh, I forgot.


If suddenly I realize I'm not having fun, I'll DNF that cache every time.


Agree, but I'm also stubborn and have "fun" being that way. I've recorded 116 DNFs, (some caches have more than one :huh: ) a 9% DNF rate. Of those 116, 16 are still on my to do list. The rest are either now on my found list, archived, or so far away that I'll probably not be in the area for a long time. As I said somewhere above some are on my personal DNC list which means no DNF log was ever generated. Probably another 50 lame caches mostly micros......

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Given that 95+% of our cache hunts are with our small kids, we try hard to look at the listing carefully and not do ones we will likely DNF. We have 23 DNF's and 102 finds, but our %age is probably much lower because we eventually found all but 6 of them.


I would say that small micros are our most common DNF. Especially "regular" multi whose first stage is a micro (the only 2 of those we tried remain DNF's).

Edited by HaLiJuSaPa
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We DNF on the easy micros. We almost always tend to make them harder than they are. Usually when we get home I'll go to log the DNF to see that someone else found it easily on the same day we were there. I'm not sure what the percentage is but that is what sticks in my head.

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I agree with some of the previous comments that most of my DNFs are actually DNCs.


If the cache is placed in a location where it just isn't fun to search, I will make a cursory search for a quick find and then walk away never to return. I will also give a DNC to needle in a haystack hides and magnetic micros under things.


However, I like well placed micros even those in the woods if they are done well and are a fair test, i.e, well camoed but not covered.

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Most of my DNFs are needle in haystack which, if not going for FTF get only a few minutes time and those which I abort pretty much immediately when i discover the location is nothing special (like a parking lot).


When I first started, I would never let a cache get the best of me. I would spend hours and several trips for a film can in the woods.


I quit when it gets boring now. The whole caching thing is a way to waste time anyhow, but some time wasting's better than others. :D

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I've got 363 finds and 93 DNFs. Of those 93 DNFs, 5 were second attempts at resolving prior DNFs, so that's 88 individual caches I wasn't able to find. Of those 88, I went back and found all but 19 of them. Of those 19, about half were missing or strongly suspected of being missing at the time I searched.


I'm in an urban area, so most of the caches I have found are micros. I don't really have a problem with them ... once you get used to them, they're not so bad.


Here's some of the major categories of reasons for my DNFs:


- Coordinates were wrong (off by more than 30'),

- Cache description page was wrong (page says 35mm, but it's actually a nano tube),

- Multicache stage was missing,

- Cache hidden in areca palms (I hate those!) or other scrub hunt,

- I was searching on waypoint alone and didn't have the hint,

- Cache was very well camo'ed, or

- I was just a blind idiot.


Oh, and in one case, I had to abandon my search when the sprinklers came on and soaked my pants :D



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For me, what I DNF the most:


Micro in a forest


*sigh* Why are there several people around here obsessed with lobbing a film canister into a heavily wooded area?

It's called cheap and easy. I don't mind these IF the cacher makes sure that the coords are correct. Otherwise those types can be very annoying.
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